The Prokletije National Park in the mountain massif of the same name in north-eastern Montenegro is probably one of the most untouched areas in Europe. Lush forests, rugged rocky outcrops, glassy glacial lakes and absolute solitude await the hiker.
The Prokletije mountain massif stretches across the north-east of Montenegro on the border with Albania and the Albanian troubled province of Kosovo. The mountains, also called the "Alps of the South", rise to an altitude of 2,700 metres, although the highest peak lies on Albanian territory. Some regions of the Prokletije Mountains have not yet been fully explored.
Although Prokletije translates as "The Damned", one should not be put off by the name. Indeed, the craggy peaks, pointed rock needles and year-round icy plateaus seem uninviting at first glance, but the fascinating landscape is almost untouched and the hospitality of the Balkan Muslim inhabitants in the remote valleys is incomparable.
The Prokletije National Park, founded in 2009, covers an area of a good 16,000 hectares that stretches south of the town of Plav from the course of the Lim River to just over the Albanian border. A piece of Kosovo is also part of it.
Tip: Border crossings should be avoided at all costs! Since the border crossings with Albania and Kosovo are not always clearly marked, it is best not to take any risks!
The untouched forests in the Prokletije National Park are home to 1,700 different species of herbs, many of which are known as medicinal plants. The lush greenery of the valleys and the bush-covered highlands are mainly home to birds, reptiles and insects. The larger animals include herons, vultures, hawks, buzzards and hawks.
The Prokletije National Park is home to some of Montenegro's highest peaks, as well as the country's highest mountain, the 2,538m-high Zla Kolata. The untouched mountain world with deep valleys and spectacular gorges, rushing streams and quiet glacial lakes, forests and meadows invites you to go hiking, climbing, trekking and cycling. Here you still have the opportunity to explore areas where no tourist has set foot before.
The rugged mountain massifs, together with the lush greenery and glassy glacial lakes, offer incredible photo opportunities.
On the road in Prokletije National Park
The best time to explore the Prokletije National Park is from June to September. In high summer, cold spells are hardly to be expected, even at higher altitudes. However, you will still see snowfields.
The best starting point for tours of the national park is the village of Plav, accessible by bus from Belgrade and Podgorica and by train from Belgrade. With your own car, you can also continue to Gusinje, where hiking trails into the Ropojana valley start. In both towns, you can stock up on food and also buy clothes, cosmetics, etc.
The most beautiful mountain lakes include Lake Plavsko near Plav, the largest glacial lake in Prokletije National Park, the beautiful Lake Ridsko and Lake Visitorsko, whose floating island is a special attraction. According to legend, it was once a raft to protect cattle from predators. Gradually, however, lush vegetation spread and a veritable island emerged.